Women Carers of World War One VeteransPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Saunders
A life size statue of a civilian woman circa 1918, commemorates the enduring sacrifice women relatives made in caring for World War One Veterans. 

The statue, known as Rosemary, was stolen in 2016. Plans were underway in 2017 for a replacement statue. 

A group of women have formed an association called ‘Women Caring for Veterans of War Inc. (WCVW). They have sought to give these forgotten civilian heroines some belated recognition and commemoration. WCVW is comprised of wives of (mostly Vietnam War) Veterans and can easily relate and empathise with the plight faced by these World War One veterans women and their families, in much harder times.

WCVW received Grants from the Commonwealth Government, Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program through the Federal Seat of Melbourne and from the Anzac Centenary Community Grants Program, Victorian Veterans Council and for the unstinting support of the Moonee Valley City Council for the erection of the statue. 

In World War One 300,000 Australians served, 60,000 died and a further conservatively estimated 90,000 suffered physical and/or psychiatric war injuries. These injuries often translated into serious lifetime disabilities. Many died directly as a result, soon or sometime after the war. Many carried burdens of trauma so unique to war, their quality of life was significantly compromised, despite near average longevity.

Finally at home, returned servicemen were given peace and care. That care and lifetime support rested primarily with their loved ones. The mothers, wives and even sisters and daughters delivered this service, quietly and uncomplainingly with little or no recognition, for sometimes many decades after the war.

A statue dedicated to women carers of war veterans has been stolen from an Ascot Vale park. Only the feet remain of the life-sized bronze statue, known as Rosemary, after thieves managed to cut the monument away from its stone base.
Moonee Valley mayor Angela Surace said the monument was not worth much money, but had a lot of sentimental value to locals. "It's really heartless," she told radio station 3AW "If anyone saw anything untoward they should contact police because it was a callous and despicable act."

The statue had only been erected at Victory Park in Ascot Vale in August.

Rosemary was commissioned by Women Caring for Veterans of War, a group that honours thousands of women who cared for World War I veterans.

"The members of Women Caring for Veterans of War worked so hard to source the funding for Rosemary and to bring her to fruition," Cr Surace said. "I hope for their sake we can track down the statue and reinstate it at Victory Park."

Funding for the statue was provided by the state and federal governments, with Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt securing an Anzac centenary grant.
The Age (Melbourne), 21 January 2016. 

Plans are underway to build a new bronze statue commemorating female carers of war veterans after the original was stolen from an Ascot Vale park.

Moonee Valley mayor Andrea Surace said a new life-size bronze statue would replace the statue that was stolen from Victory Park on January 20. But she said the process of making a statue of this nature was time consuming and it could be five months before it was reinstated.

The statue of a World War I era woman, named Rosemary, was dedicated to honouring the sacrifices of women who cared for war veterans. Women Caring for Veterans of War spent 18 months raising money for the statue.

“It was obviously of high importance for us to replace the Rosemary statue after it was callously stolen in January this year, especially for the members of Women Caring for Veterans of War who were instrumental in bring this project to life,” Cr Surace said. “A new version of Rosemary is currently being made using thicker, more robust material to avoid it being stolen again.”
The Herald Sun (Melbourne), 25 May 2016. 


Address:Langs & Epsom Roads, Victory Gardens , Ascot Vale, 3032
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.779251
Long: 144.912644
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 29th August, 2015
Front Inscription

This statue was commissioned by Women Caring for Veterans of War Inc

In honour of the enduring sacrifice made by women who cared for veterans of World War 1

Unveiled on 29 August 2015

Support is acknowledged from the Victorian Government and the Victorian Veterans Council

The Australian Government`s ANZAC Centenary Local Grants Program
The Moonee Valley City Council

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au